Your mind is your greatest treasure. We become so taken up with the world, with having and doing more and more that we come to ignore who we are and forget what we see the world with.
The most powerful way to change your life is to change your mind.
John O’Donohue, The Art of Developing a Beautiful Mind
For a peaceful meditation, we need not to go to the mountains and streams;
When thoughts are quieted down, even fire itself is cool and refreshing.
Extract from poem by Ch’an monk Tu Kou-hao, used as last words by Keizan Jōkin, abbot of Erinji, just before he was burned alive by soldiers in his temple.
You say that you are troubled
by your own thoughts. Listen,
even the moth casts a shadow
when it flies before the sun.
Do you think the sun is troubled,
or the ground, or the moth,
for that matter? No, what is
troubled is the shadow thinking
it’s the moth that has fallen
to the ground, where the sun
will never shine again.
Richard Schiffman, Environmental journalist and poet, Moth Koan (excerpt)
The wind blows through the sky and flies over continents without settling anywhere. It traverses space and leaves no trace. Thus should thoughts pass through our minds, leaving no residues and not altering our realization of fundamental simplicity.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Once you are able to quiet the mind, you have a highly sustainable source of happiness. My friends, that is a life-changing insight. That suggests that happiness is not something we pursue, happiness is already there. Happiness is something we access, something we allow. Once you understand that, it changes everything in life.
The sun shines day after day without fail, yet if clouds appear to make the sky overcast, it can’t be seen. It still comes up in the east every morning and goes down in the west. The only difference is that you can’t see it because it’s hidden behind the clouds. The sun is your original mind, the clouds are your illusions. You are unaware of this mind because it’s covered by illusions and can’t be seen. But you never lose it, not even when you go to sleep.
The unborn mind that your mothers have given you is thus always there, wonderfully clear and bright and illuminating.
Bankei Yōtaku (1622-1693), Rinzai Zen master,
who emphasized our original nature or inner aliveness, which he terms the Unborn